Beyond the Game: Brewers reliever Chris Narveson

MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- One member of the Milwaukee Brewers team had too many nights off for his taste last year, which makes him extra ready to go this season!

To a man, getting introduced on Opening Day is a kick, but to Chris Narveson, getting introduced on Opening Day was the culmination of a long, quiet battle.

Narveson pitched only twice last season before he was sidelined by a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder. While his teammates went through the good and bad of last season, Narveson was undergoing surgery and then rehabbing, far away from the spotlight.

"It's definitely something people don't see or don't know what's going on -- and the grunt work is done behind the scenes. The number of hours you spend in the gym rehabbing to get back to where you want can be excruciating, but the reward in the end -- to get back out there and compete is what we all want to do," Narveson said.

For now at least, Narveson's chances to get out there will be as a reliever. His 26 Big League victories are more than starters Marco Estrada, Wily Peralta and Mike Fiers combined, but for now, he's the third lefty in the bullpen.

"I definitely see myself as a starter, but it's one of those things where it's a long season. I'd rather be fresh in August and September than be fresh now, and then all of a sudden have to flame out at the end of the year. I think it's just a headsy thing and I'll be prepared when my name is called," Narveson said.

A Major League stadium like Miller Park features a beautiful playing surface. It is flat, except for one little blip: the pitcher's mound. That's where Narveson works. His approach is pretty much like the surface -- very, very steady, with only the occasional blip.

"I think that's the best mantra, especially for a starter. You're going to have some bad starts and you can't let that get on you. Just like you're going to have some good starts and you can't just sit there and gloat -- you've got to be ready for the next one," Narveson said.

After what he has been through, Narveson will be ready for that next start, and he will do his best out of the bullpen in the interim.

Narveson started his professional baseball career back in 2000, but because of injuries and a slow climb through the Minor Leagues, he still has less than three-and-a-half years of Big League experience. Given his career, he cherishes whatever opportunities come his way.